Hello sustainable CICLO readers! This is Melisa here writing CICLO’s first blog post. I would like to introduce the idea of buying groceries in bulk at supermarkets.
What is buying “in bulk“?
In the United States, it’s easy to find a “bulk grocery” section in most supermarkets. Bulk sections include package-free selections of consumable food such as grains, pasta, candy, flours, sugars, and dog food. Anything that is dry could be sold in bulk and only the necessary amount is bought based on the weight obtained by the consumers. However, although they are package-free, most supermarkets have plastic containers or plastic bags available to place the dispensed contents inside. In terms of reducing the single-use plastic problem, this was not the true reason why “buying in bulk” was first established in western countries. But there is some potential to this idea. Giving consumers the option to reduce both cost and food waste and now single-use plastics by encouraging them to bring their own containers and bags to select the exact amount they need at supermarkets.
A new zero-waste supermarket
Today, I would like to introduce a recently established sustainable supermarket in the city of Birmingham in the UK called The Clean Kilo. This zero-waste supermarket was opened last year by owners and couple Jeanette and Tom. Tom, previously a PhD student in Chemistry and Jeanette a business marketing and design major realized the increasing amount of single-use plastic used in supermarkets in the U.K. Both left wondering, “Why are there no plastic-free supermarkets available in the U.K?” After a long time of pondering, planning, crowdfunding and marketing their start-up business idea, they finally opened their first store on June 2018 and their customer response was incredible. On their first day of the Clean Kilo grand opening, there were crowds of people wanting to do their part to chose local and organic products in bulk with no plastic packaging reducing both plastic consumption and food waste.
With that in mind their continued success is an inspiration for all of us looking for other options outside of the conventional plastic packaging food options in our supermarkets today. They continue to expand the available items they sell in their store such as homemade plant-based milk and zero-waste workshops to educate the general public on how they can create their own household products zero-waste plastic-free. They are even planning to open their second shop soon! Their impact has received messages of positivity and encouragement. They have even partaken in a local city government committee meeting to talk about the importance of sustainability and gained recognition from local government staff for their efforts to create a sustainable zero-waste business.
If they can do it, so can we!
Small but sustainable businesses can be the ripple in the water that we need to bring awareness and change for the future of our society. We, at CICLO hope that Japan will also begin to do their part to become a plastic-free society as well.
▼The Clean Kilo WEB SITE
▼The Clean Kilo INSTAGRAM
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One to frame….#plasticfreeshopping Read about how and why we started The Clean Kilo and what it’s like to run a zero waste shop! @obsfood @guardian Clickable link in bio: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/apr/14/food-businesses-binning-single-use-plastic-environment What isn’t highlighted in the article is the skill involved in holding that paper bag for Tom to effortlessly (and accurately) dispense into it whilst smiling for the photo! 😁🤔 Photography @adrian.sherratt 💚